He thought, I thought

We had a young person in court a while back that didn’t treat the judge with much deference. In itself, that’s not saying much, but what really irked the judge was this: the person in front of him didn’t meet his expectations. The Judge expected more from a person in the military.

As far as the judge was concerned, he earned the right to be judgmental, and not just because he’s a judge… he’s a retired military man himself (30 years in the Marines).

I didn’t bother me much (the behavior), but not just because most folks are operating at less than 100 percent in court. The first thing that came to my mind was: “I wonder if this person has earned the right to be belligerent.” I know, there are probably lots of folks who are sent overseas and don’t come back assholes. But, if we look for them, we see articles like this a little too often: (Newsvine/AP)

While many Vietnam veterans began showing manifestations of stress disorders roughly 10 years after returning from the front, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have shown the signs much earlier.

That could also be because stress disorders are much better understood now than they were a generation ago, advocates say.

“There’s something about going back, and a third and a fourth time, that really aggravates that level of stress,” said Michael Blecker, executive director of Swords to Plowshares,” a San Francisco homeless-vet outreach program.

“And being in a situation where you have these IEDs, everywhere’s a combat zone. There’s no really safe zone there. I think that all is just a stew for post-traumatic stress disorder.”

A part of me wonders if this person could detect something like pity in me, and it made the situation worse.

Give the gift of words.